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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets collapse in 2nd half and lose to OKC

Rockets score 19 points in the second half

Posted: January 16, 2014 -- 11:17 pm CST.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- Thursday night's game between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City was quite literally a tale of two halves. The Rockets erupted for 73 first-half points; then, mustered only 19 second-half points in a crushing 104-92 defeat to the Thunder.

The Rockets are the first NBA team in the shot-clock era to post at least 70 points in the first half, and then score less than 20 in the second half.

The Rockets scored 41 points in the second quarter followed by 10 points in the third quarter and nine points in the fourth quarter.

"We got more stagnant. We came out and missed some shots," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale after the game. "We had some good looks early in the third quarter. We missed some layups. Had some layups blocked right at the rim. It seemed like our offense just at that point couldn't make anything. We couldn't make a basket. We couldn't sustain anything. We had some silly turnovers during that stretch. We had some run outs but we just got stagnant after awhile with people trying to do it on their own, which we can't do. When the ball moves we are a lot better. We defended plenty. They (Thunder) had 45 (points) in the second half. We had a lot of holes and consecutive holes where we couldn't get out and run. We couldn't score. We had a terrible time shooting the ball, laying it in, making simple plays. We couldn't sustain anything offensively in the second half. Give them credit. They got out and got after us."

Another adage came to fruition during the game, too: "Live by the 3; die by the 3."

The Rockets made 12 three-point shots (out of 20 tries in the first half; but, they did not make one three-point basket (out of 14 tries) in the second half.

"Our offense just wasn't flowing," said a frustrated Chandler Parsons. "We weren't getting out in transition. We were missing a lot of open shots, a lot of bunnies at the rim that we usually make. It just wasn't flowing nearly as good as it was in the first half with cutters and extra passes and things like that."

Houston scored its most points in any half this season with 73 to open the game, but followed it up with a franchise-low 19 points in the second half. The previous low for a half was 24 in the first half at San Antonio (11/13/01) and 24 in the second half vs. New Orleans (1/19/12). The 19-point half also tied for the second fewest points scored in a second half in NBA annals.

"I've never seen anything like that; 73 points and than 19 points," Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City's head coach said. "I don’t know if that has ever happened. I know most of you didn't go to UC Irvine, but that is a fifty four point difference. I've never seen anything like it."

Six Rockets' players scored double digits points: James Harden and Terrence Jones each scored 16 to lead the Rockets in scoring.

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 36 points (8 for 21 field goals; 18 for 20 from the foul line). Durant also dished out seven assists. Reggie Jackson chipped in 23 points and Serge Ibaka scored 21 points. Ibaka also grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked five shots.

Durant has now scored 25-plus points 18 times against the Rockets in his career, including six 30-point outings.

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